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Old 11-14-2012   #21
Dayuhan
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Yes I know that. Which is why I wrote that. However if you run far enough away from the Japanese that they can't easily get at you, you can't easily get at them. That is a bit different from ducking over a border into a sanctuary. They can't get at you at all but you can still get at them. That is an important thing.
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That assumes that you want to get at them.

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I don't think acknowledging the prime importance of sanctuary is at all misplaced. In the case you cite acknowledging that will lead to realizing that the problem can't be solved unless something is done about the Pak Army/ISI. In China, it helps explain why guerrilla forces didn't accomplish much.
That's an illustration of the tendency I spoke of: it leads to conclusions that are based less on evidence than on assumption. If you assume that sanctuary is of prime importance, you tend to assume that the problem in Afghanistan is the Pakistanis, and are thus less likely to acknowledge or address the fairly significant problems with our own policies and practices. If you assume that sanctuary was the key factor in the ineffectiveness of Chinese resistance, you tend to overlook the possibility that the Chinese resistances were concerned more with surviving than with winning.

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No, according to the book that is not true. The KMT fought quite a lot as proven by casualty figures. The Reds didn't fight so much. Which is the opposite of what we've been told all these years. The Chinese were very upset that the Japanese were around. They just couldn't get them out even though they tried.
What were the sources on the casualty figures, and how reliable are they? Even if they are reliable (not many figures from that time and place can be trusted, and I certainly wouldn't trust any figures originating from the KMT) higher casualty figures on one side don't necessarily mean that side is initiating combat. They can just as easily mean one side is less effective at avoiding combat, is less adept at exploiting the sanctuary provided by China's size, is more inclined to concentrate forces and render them vulnerable to air attack, etc. The KMT were also in a position where the US was constantly pressuring them to fight, a problem the Communists of course did not have. I don't think you can base a conclusion on desire to fight purely on casualty figures. Those who were on the scene and playing attention, notably Gen. Stilwell, did not seem particularly convinced that the KMT wanted to fight the Japanese.
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Old 11-14-2012   #22
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Note: It is too easy to forget just how costly a big small war can be on your territory. 20 million dead civilians are clear reminder, especially since the war was concentrated mostly in areas of the North-east.
No wonder if you wage war like this.
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Old 11-14-2012   #23
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.That assumes that you want to get at them.
Ok, you got me beat. Non sequitur responses always do.

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That's an illustration of the tendency I spoke of: it leads to conclusions that are based less on evidence than on assumption. If you assume that sanctuary is of prime importance, you tend to assume that the problem in Afghanistan is the Pakistanis, and are thus less likely to acknowledge or address the fairly significant problems with our own policies and practices. If you assume that sanctuary was the key factor in the ineffectiveness of Chinese resistance, you tend to overlook the possibility that the Chinese resistances were concerned more with surviving than with winning.
No, the conclusion that sanctuary is of prime importance is based on historical record and common sense. Recognizing that will not blind you to other faults unless you are a dumb-bell, in which case the primary problem is that you are a dumb-bell.

The Reds were more concerned about survival, so they ended the war stronger than when it started. The Nationalist guerrillas were mostly wrecked because I read they tried to coordinate their operations with conventional military ops. That didn't work out well for them.

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What were the sources on the casualty figures, and how reliable are they? Even if they are reliable (not many figures from that time and place can be trusted, and I certainly wouldn't trust any figures originating from the KMT) higher casualty figures on one side don't necessarily mean that side is initiating combat. They can just as easily mean one side is less effective at avoiding combat, is less adept at exploiting the sanctuary provided by China's size, is more inclined to concentrate forces and render them vulnerable to air attack, etc. The KMT were also in a position where the US was constantly pressuring them to fight, a problem the Communists of course did not have. I don't think you can base a conclusion on desire to fight purely on casualty figures. Those who were on the scene and playing attention, notably Gen. Stilwell, did not seem particularly convinced that the KMT wanted to fight the Japanese.
Take all that up with the authors of the essays in the book. They were all apparently very highly reputed historians of various nationalities. All the essays were impressive.
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Old 11-14-2012   #24
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Firn:

Small difference then, if that is more acceptable. The Japanese Army was never in any danger at all of being pushed out of China by the Chinese. They left because they lost in the Pacific. They didn't lose in the Pacific because of any lack of manpower, those islands are only so big. They lost in the Pacific because our naval/air forces beat theirs. That is the tragedy of the thing, the Chinese tried so hard and lost so much for so long but it didn't do much to remove the Japanese.
I think that this aspect of war is often lost in peacetime, especially among the civilian leadership. The US could work with pretty long levers when it came to raw materials, industrial might and technology and not only in the military sector of the economy. In farming the differences between the US and Germany were arguably most pronounced with Japan having an even more (wo)men-power intensive agricultural sector. All this meant a big downstream support advantage for the tip of the spear.

For those who fought war is never cheap but a rough look at the casualities suffered by the US and China in their struggle against Japan shows that the share of the human burden, especially the dying part, quite loopsided. Of course dying alone has never won a war.
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